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Following a divorce, California family law courts want to ensure that children receive financial support from both of their parents, even if they don’t live with both of their parents 100 percent of the time. Raising a child is expensive, and child support helps to make sure that children are properly taken care of even if their parents aren’t married.

Child support is generally calculated using a formula based on a number of different factors including the parents’ income, the financial needs of the child and others. Then, a family law court will order one of the parents – typically the non-custodial parent – to pay the other a certain amount each month. This money is not a payment to the parent, but its money meant for the child.

However, not every parent chooses to pay child support, even after it is ordered. In fact, some will go to great lengths to avoid payments. In a recent case, a California man has been found guilty of bankruptcy fraud after he tried to get out of paying child support.

According to reports, the man and his wife divorced in 1999. The couple have two teenage daughters. Instead of paying child support for the girls, the man created a scheme where he diverted assets and concealed his finances through the use of his company and other illegal financial maneuvering. He then declared bankruptcy. Reports claim that the money was eventually laundered back to him through an attorney-client trust account.

As a result of the charges, the man was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Furthermore, he has been ordered to give up $2.8 million in assets and has to pay a $500,000 fine.

While going to such lengths to avoid child support is usual, parents do refuse to pay at times. In these cases, people should understand that they have legal rights and options that can help to collect the money that their children need and deserve.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Northern California man who hid assets to avoid paying child support, alimony gets 17-year prison term,” March 3, 2014